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Full text of "Lyndon, Illinois' 150th : something to crow about 14th annual festival June 13, 14, 15, 16, 1985"

^ 1 835 -1 985 /^ 

^ 14th K 

^ ANNUAL FESTIVAL g 

TK JUNE 13.14,15.16 -95r 



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OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS 1985 



CHAIRPERSON: Rena Mannon 

CO-CHAIRPERSON: Neil Johnson 
SECRETARY: Beth Petersen 
TREASURER: Cris Hicks 
DIRECTORS: Rhonda Scott, Gene Harrington, Deanna Williams 
COMMITTEE: Rita Madsen, Rod Janssen, Bill Ellenwood, 
John Reader 

HONORARY MAYORS 

1972: Tom Davis 
1973: Tom Davis 
1974: Tom Davis 
1975: Jim King 

1976: Paul Katner 

1977: George Wooldridge 
1978: Adam Manning 
1979: Wayne Evans 
1980: Bill Bellows 
1981: Bud Gibson 

1982: Les Williams 
1983: Art Gibson 

1984: Roger Schipper 
1985: W. E. Miley 



TEEN QUEENS 



1972: Diane Bohms 
1973: Wendy James 

1974: Jeannette Foster 

1975: Linda Maxey 
1976: Kim Snyder 
1977: Denise Kopp 

1978: Marlene McDonald 
1979: Mary Sanders 



KINGS AND QUEENS 



1980: Harold and Margaret Attig 
1981: Art and Marge Egert 

1982: Jake and Fern Housenga 
1983: Wayne and Zola Evans 
1984: Budd and Dar Swanson 

1985: Walter and Hazel Oltman 



SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS 

1979: Marlene McDonald 
1980: Michele Ashpole 
1981: Wes Grau 
1982: Kim Mills 

1983: Wendy Ransom 

1984: Valerie Snyder 

1985: Jennifer Swanson 



SCHEDULE OF EVENTS 
Thursday, June 13 

5:00 p.m.: CRENSHAW AMUSEMENTS -- FAMILY NIGHT 

7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. TEEN DANCE FEATURING 

"SIGHTS AND SOUND" BAND 
(No one under age of 12 admitted) 

Friday, June 14 

5:00 p.m.: CRENSHAW AMUSEMENTS 
BEER GARDEN 

8:00 p.m.: CROWNING OF KING AND QUEEN 
HONORING OF HONORARY MAYOR 
8:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.: DANCE, FEATURING 

"CUZ" BAND 

Saturday, June 15 

10:00 a.m.: BATH TUB RACE ON ROCK RIVER 
12:00 noon: CRENSHAW AMUSEMENTS 

BEER GARDEN 
2:00 p.m.: WOMEN'S VOLLEY BALL TOURNAMENT 
2:00 p.m.: KID'S GAMES 

8:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.: DANCE, FEATURING 

"NIGHT JAM" BAND 



Sunday, June 16 

7:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m.: FIREMEN'S BREAKFAST 
10:00 a.m.: COMMUNITY WORSHIP SERVICE 

UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 
11:30 a.m.: COMMUNITY POT-LUCK DINNER 

UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 
1: 30 p.m. : PARADE 
2:00 p.m.: MEN'S VOLLEY BALL TOURNAMENT 

CRENSHAW AMUSEMENTS 
2:30 p.m.: "FOX TROTTERS" IN CONCERT 

IN THE BEER TENT 
5:30 - 9:30 p.m.: DANCE, FEATURING 

"WHISTLE SMITH" BAND 



150 YEARS ^^SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT" 



LYNDON, ILLINOIS 1835-1985 



What follows is not intended to be a definitive History of Lyndon 
but rather a "tale" about Lyndon. Historical facts, gleaned 
from the few written histories in existence, legends handed 
down through newspaper articles and oral "history", are combined 
with personal remembrances of many people, including some of 
the "myths" about our village, to put together a tale about 
Lyndon . 

There are errors, some disagreements about dates and places, 
due to differing accounts of the same events by different hist- 
orians. There are omissions of stories and pictures, which 
could give a better picture of the town. This is essentially 
because of lack of information and photographs. The selection 
of the materials used has been made by the author, and it is 
hoped that those who read this will be understanding about the 
lack of coverage of the total picutre of the village. 

Any omissions are not itended to offend, or to belittle the 
importance of events or places. Lack of sufficient input has 
made this necessary. 

It is hoped that this effort will prompt many to want to help 
to contribute information, photos, etc., to a continuing effort 
to keep Lyndon's history alive. It may be possible, with the 
help of many who have knowledge of the village, to write a truly 
definitive history of Lyndon. We hope so! 



D. Gene Harrington 
May, 1985 



LYNDON, ILLINOIS 1835-1985 

Earliest recollections of the Lyndon settlement, indicate that the first settlers 
arrived in the Lyndon vicinity in August of 1835. The first settlers in Lyndon 
were Chauncey G. Woodruff and family, Adam R. Hamilton and family, William D, Dudley 
and family, Liberty Walker and Ephraim H. Hubbard. The first dwelling was a cabin 
covered with hay, put up by CBauncey -Woodraf f . This was in August of 1835, and this 
remained his home until the following year. 

In the winter of 1835-1836, Indians were still living in the timber between Lyndon 
and Prophetstown. It is estimataed that there were about two thousand Indians camped 
there. It appears they were not hostile, and in general, relations between them 
and the early white settlers were cordial. There are even stories about the red 
man attending worship services at both of the churches after they were built. At 
worst, it would seem that the Indian problem was one of dissatisfaction when the 
white man promised whiskey in return for labor, and then failed to live up to that 
promise. Stories are told about the Indians raiding cornfields and loading their 
canoes with corn and pumpkins, and sailing away down the river. 

The first child born in Lyndon was to Dr.Augustin and Mary Smith. The first death 
recorded was that of Libery Walker, in April of 1837. Mary Smith, the wife of 
Dr. Augusin A. Smith died in July of 1837. The first person buried in the Lyndon 
Cemetery was Mrs. Lydia A. Coburn, who died in July of 1837. Her grave stone has 
been located in the Lyndon Cemetery, and with effort, the inscription can still 
be made out on the weathered stone. 

Though settled in 1835, the original village of Lyndon was not laid out and platted 
until 1837. The original plat consisted of 18 blocks, with one additional block 
reserved for a public square. Originally--1837-1839--the streets north of the river 
were numbered, and those streets running crosswise were named--South, Hamilton, 
Dudley, Green, Liberty. In the center of these streets was the old public square, 
on which the old town hall and schoolhouse was built. Tnis is now the Lyndon School 
campus . 

The town was platted in 1836. Later the Sperry addition was added in 1848, the 
Railroad Addition in 1869, the Mill addition in 1872, Fitch's addition in 1874, 
and the Wilkins addition at a later date. 

In 1869, the Rockford, Rock Island and St. Louis Railroad Company completed its 
tracks, which actually by-passed Lyndon. In order to have a railroad within the 
town (or the town within the railroad) the railroad addition was laid out. (Note: 
one history lists this railroad line as the Rock Island branch of the Chicago and 
Burlington-Quincy Railroad.) 

In 1872, the villagers met to organize, and in 1874 was incorporated under gene.ral 
law of the state tor incorporation of cities. In that year the first election was 
held, on April 3. The following were elected as the first trustees: John W. Hazard, 
Dr. A. P. Holt, Charles C. Sweeney, J. L. Bates, Leander Church, M. A. McKerg. 
The following year an election was held at which time J. W. Hazard was made President 
of the Board, E. B. Hazard, Village Clerk, and William M. Burkitt, Treasurer. At 
this time, C. L. Parkhurst presented a request for a license to sell intoxicating 
liquor.. The request was held over until the next meeting, when the license was 
granted for a fee of $125. 

The town originally looked forward to a large river business, as barges and boats 
had passed up and down the Rock prior to the time the village was platted. In view 
of this, lots on the south side of River street, extending to the river, were re- 
served for a levee. 



After the town was organized, several steamers did load with grain at Lyndon destined 
for St. Louis and other southern cities. One large warehouse was constructed for 
the storage of grain and other produce, in order to be ready for the large river 
traffic that was expected. Unfortunately, river navigation was unsuccessful and 
did not last long. Just one other of Lyndon's dreams and plans had evaporated. 
At least until 1928, remnants of a coal barge that sank enroute to pome southern 
city remained in the river near the Bend--a hazard to other river traffic. 

The Bent-Wilson History of Whiteside County has this to say of Lyndon's potential 
as a river port: "Nevertheless, Lyndon prospered, and was for a long time one of 
the first towns in the county, and its immense water power, if properly utilized, 
as it undoubtedly soon will be, cannot fail of placing it in the front rank." 
So much for early predictions of Lyndon's future. 

OUT OF THE HAT _. . . 

There is a tradition — somewhat misty--that Lyndon received its name sometime before 
the town was platted. In 1836, Dr. Augustine Smith built the first frame house, 
but the town was not laid out in lots until sometime in 1837. There was some concern 
about the naming of the town, and while it is likely that other names were under 
consideration, the only one prominently mentioned was Lyndon. After much discussion 
without coming to a decision, tradition has it that William D. Dudley was chosen 
to pass a hat into which each settler put a suggestion for the name of the town. 
Tradition does not tell us who drew out the name, but Lyndon was the name written 
on the first slip of paper drawn out of the hat. It is believed that the peirson 
who submitted the name had done so in honor of his native town in Connecticut. 





INDUSTRY 

Th9 Lyndon Hydraulic Manufacturing Company was organized in the spring of 1872, 
with a capital of $60,000. The company was formed to furnish water power to the 
factories. A dam was built across the river, the weir of which was about 1,180 
feet long, providing a head of about eight feet, securing a power of approximately 
30,000 inches of water--equal to about 4,000 horsepower. One source states that 
David B. Sears, who died in 1933 at the age of 95, built the dam at Lyndon in 1870- 
1873. Located a little north of the village, on the North Bank, the dam proved 
to be at once a source of hope and disappointment, for ice jams destroyed the dam 
in 1881. Several attempts were made to secure financial support for reconstruction 
of the dam, but shortage of funds and reluctance on the part of some of the city 
fathers of the time, doomed the project to failure. Lyndon began to decline rapidly 
after the loss of the dam. 




About the same time, several other mills and industries were established in Lyndon, 
but they, too, through a series of misfortunes, soon disappeared from the scene. 
In 1872, a merchant flouring mill was erected at a cost of $35,000, and became known 
as the Lyndon Mill. The mill was three stories high above the basement, 45 x 50 
feet in size. The mill was five run of stones, but records do not indicate what 
the daily output was. 

In 1873, a large paper mill was erected near the dam. It was a large establishment 
with a potential for manufacturing two tons of wrapping paper per day, using straw 
as the material. After the damage to the dam reduced the power output, the Lyndon 
Paper Mill purchased a steam engine to replace that power loss. A fire in the engine 
room in January of 1882, and subsequent explosions which destroyed the two revolving 
bleachers caused such damage that it would have to be completely rebuilt before 
being put into operation again. 



In February of 188^^ the company was reorganized and the name changed to Valley 
Paper Company of Lyndon. "The mill was rebuilt and started making paper again on 
May 1, 1886. The mill employed 3b persons if operations were normal. In July 
of 1894, the mill allegedly received a large contract for paper, and it seemed that 



the mill was headed for success. The same night, however, fire spread throughout 
the factory, and burned for most of the night, completely destroying the mill except 
for the smokestack. Though there was an insurance policy that should have covered 
the loss, the mill, then under the same management as the Rock Falls Paper Mill, 
was never rebuilt. 

The Charles Young Paper Mill was built a short distance from the first paper mill. 
The mill was only in operation one day. On the first day, Bert McArdlie was injured 
as steaming paper rolleddown on the rolling drums and jammed there. He tried to 
free the jam with his hands, and in the process was pulled through the mill. He 
received severe mutilation to his face and head, and the loss of one hand. The 
plant was closed immediately, and never reopened. 

In 1873, the Farmers' Cooperative Manufacturing Company was organized, and built 
a large brick building, 160 feet long, 80 feet wide, two stories high with a stone 
basement. The building, completed in 1876, was designed and equipped to manufacture 
all kinds of farm implements. The land for the building was donated by the Lyndon 
Hydraulic Company in an effort to bring a new industry to Lyndon. Included in 
the gift were the water rights from the dam. The gift, valued at some $15,000, 
was made to the granges of Whiteside County. The sale of stock in the company was 
so slow that the grange-sponsored company did not begin manufacturing immediately. 

In 1878, arrangements were made with S. D. Madin of Indianpolis to monuf actura the 
Eureka Direct Draft Mower here. Soon a work force was established and the factory 
was humming with activity, with predictions that 200 mowers would be completed by 
the middle of the month. The failure of the dam may have been the cause for the 
cessation of activity in the plant, and in 1883 creditors filed suit against the 
factory. By 1885, the dam was a complete wreck, and the factory was tumbling in 
ruin . 






10 



In 1873, the Victoria Flour Mill was built. It was a two and one-half story building 
capable of producing 75 barrels of flour and 600 bushels of feed per day. Nothing 
more is recorded of this operation, except that in 1880 it was sold at a chancery 
sale for $9,500, approximately one half of its original cost. 

There are examples of the Kelly pumps that were manufactured in Lyndon still around 
today. Little is known of this operation, but it is believed that the pumps were 
manufactured in the grange-sponsored cooperative factory, though the dates of the 
construction of the building and the dates stamped on some of the pumps are in dis- 
agreement . 

The Lyndon Tile Factory was the last real manufacturing operation in Lyndon. It 
was established in 1912 by Joseph W. Hodges, and was located on Route 2, about where 
Pete Crady's business is now. For many years the factory manufactured cement blocks, 
drainage tile, and self -sealing burial vaults, but in later years the manufacture 
of the vaults was discontinued. Other owners and operators of tlie Tile Factory 
were Theo Blagg & Bill White, Bill White, Donald Gorzney. About 1966 the factory 
was sold to Glenn Miller of Erie, and the last owner was Robert Truckenmiller . 

*** A brief news item appearing in the August 4, 1910 issue of the "PROPHETSTOWN 
ECHO" announced that a contract for waterproof cement blocks was given to one A. 
Q. Church of Lyndon, for the building of the lawn mower factory and creamery in 
Prophetstown . There are no further references to this manufacture of cement blocks 
and the location of a plant {if any) is unknown. 




SAW MILL 



The mill race at Lyndon had been excavated in 1838, and a large, substantial saw 
mill was erected. About 200 feet of hard wood and timber had been sawed, but hard 
times and lack of money forced the abandonment of the mill race project, and with 
it went the saw mill. Large scale lumbering operations did not fare well in the 
Lyndon area, it would seem. 

11 



COUNTY SEAT , . . TWICE 



The first election to determine the County Seat of Whiteside County was held on 
May, 1839. Votes were cast for Lyndon, Sterling, Prophetstown , Albany, Fulton and 
Union Grove, but no choice was made. Under the Act of the General Assembly, passed 
in 1839, to provide for the selection, an election was to be held every four weeks 
until a majority of votes was given for one place. Finally, at September's election 
Lyndon received the majority of votes polled, making it the county seat. The first 
meeting of the County Commissioner's Court was held in May, 1839. The first Circuit 
Court was held in Lyndon in April, 1840, in the unfinished home of T. C. Gould. 

In 1840, Sterling made application for a re-canvas of the vote cast at the September 
23, 1839 election. This was granted and at the recount, the results showed 264 
votes Sterling, 253 for Lyndon and 4 for Windsor. As a result, the County Commiss- 
ioners' Court ordered that the County Seat be placed in Sterling. The first term 
of the Court was held in Sterling in 1841, and continued there through September 
of 1842. Lyndon secured a majority on the Board of Commissioners and an order was 
entered to move the County Seat back to Lyndon. Accordingly, the court met in Lyndon 
until 1846, when an order was given for the Circuit Court to meet in Sterling instead 
of Lyndon. Another election was held in April, 1849, which showed a majority of 
68 votes in favor of Sterling. Thus it remained until 1857, when a new election 
was held, with the result showing a majority of 59 in favor of removal of the County 
Court to Morrison. 

It is a matter of history that on February 11, 1840, a contract was entered into 
between John Roy and Augustin Smith, on the part of the people of Lyndon, and Thomas 
C. Gould, by which the latter would build a good substantial building 26 feet long 
by 17 feet wide, and one and one half stories high. The location was described 
as Lot 51, Block 10, in the city of Lyndon, to be used for holding courts and other 
public purposes whenever required, until June 1841, when the county seat was removed 
to Sterling. 

The building was built, and used for holding courts and other pub!" i', :^"urposes re- 
quired, until 1841, when the county seat was removed to Sterling. NOTE: there 
is no Lot 51, Block 10 in Lyndon. It would seem that an error was made in the print- 
ing, according to Charles Bent, but there is no doubt that the donation of the site 
was on Block 10. 

Sometime in 1917-1918, the Whiteside County Old Settlers Association determined 
to erect a plaque to commemorate the location of the site of that first court house. 
There was, however, so much disagreement over the location of it that the project 
'•as abandon-'"'. . 

"If it should prove impossible to find the exact site for placing of the tablet 
(to commemorate the location of the first court house), let it be placed in the 
most central point in Lyndon; for no one disputes the fact that it was in Lyndon that 
the first court was held. Narrowness and selfishness ought not to be evident in 
affairs of this kind. Many a town has lost a railroad or a county seat through 
the folly and selfishness of its leading citizens. It will hardly be disputed that 
Lyndon has the finest natural location of any town in the county and it is a matter 
of regret to many that the county seat was ever removed from it." (This quote from 
Charles Bent appeared in the Whiteside County Sentinel on August 8, 1918.) 



12 



CHURCHES 

The Lyndon Congregational Church was the first religious organizationin Whiteside 
County. On March 3, 1836, the first religious meeting was held in the cabin of 
William D. Dudley. The first pastor was the Reverend Elisha Howard when the church 
received its charter on June 27, 1836. First meetings were held in the homes of 
some of the early settlers, and then when the first log schoolhouse was built, meet- 
ings were held there. In 1850, the first church edifice was built. In 1870, the 
church voted to build a new building to replace the "Old Grout". It was to be a 
brick building, larger than the first building, with a bell, belfry and green blinds. 
This church was never built, due to a decline in membership, and failure of efforts 
to effect a merger with the Methodist Episcopal Society. 

Then on April 3, 1883, the church burned, believed to have been the result of incend- 
iarism. Immediately following, the congregation voted to build a new building, 
and on December 27, 1883, the new building (which is still standing) was dedicated 
with the first services having been held on December 21. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1841, by the Reverend W. Buck and 
the Reverend G. L. Stuff in an old store building. At first the "Society" was part 
of the Union Grove Circuit. Throughout its history it has been associated with 
the Erie congregation, the Prophetstown congregation, and the Leon congregation , 
and is a part of the Lyndon-Leon circuit today. Services were held at first in 
private residences, then when the town hall was completed, services were held their 
until their building was finished. The first church, a grout structure burned in 
1882. The present building, a frame structure, 40 by 60 feet, two-story with a 
bell and belfry, was completed in the spring of 1844. As part of the celebration, 
this year, of Lyndon's 150th birthday, community services will be held at the church 
at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. These services are a traditional part of the Crow 
Festival, but this year will commemorate the 101st anniversary of the present church 
building. The Reverend A. J. Landwehr, pastor of First United Methodist Church 
in Evanston will be guest speaker. Mr. Landwehr was pastor of the Lyndon church 
when he was a student at Garrett Biblical Institute in the 1940's. 

The Baptist Church was organized in September 1839. Meetings were held in private 

homes until the Town Hall was completed. For some time there was quite a following, 

but membership declined and a building was never built, and the society ultimately 
disbanded . 

In 1884, a German Evangelical Church was organized under the guidance of the Reverend 
Frederick Lussky. First meetings were held in a Lyndon school house. A small church 
was built prior to 1893, on land donated by Frank Hayen . In October, 1906, a larger 
church was erected on the same site. In 1913, that church was taken down and later 
rebuilt in Morrison. The church received the name of St. Peter's Lutheran Church 
m later years. 



COMMUNITY WORSHIP SERVICES AT THE 

UNITED METHODIST CHURCH AT 10:00 A.M. 

WITH COMMUNITY POT-LUCK DINNER TO FOLLOW 

PLAN TO ATTEND THIS TRADITIONAL COMMUNITY WORSHIP SERVICE . . 

13 




METHODIST CHURCH ABOUT 1907 



UNITED METHODIST CHURCH TODAY 



rr^^T'J' 




LUNuKcoA I iOl'^ML CrilikL^h AbuUI 1907 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH TODAY 



14 



SCHOOLS 

The first Lyndon school house was built in 1840, a structure 36 x 24 feet, long 
and low, of one story. It was located just west of the Morris home, which has since 
been razed. The site of the original "LYNDON ACADEMY" as it became known, is near 
the location of the present school. It '-'as a building painted red, and had two 
windows in each end, with four windows on aach side. This was the first school 
above the ordinary grade in the county. 

The next school building was erected in 1851. This was a two story building 50 x 
36 feet, built at a cost of $2,500. In 1875, another building was erected by its 
side. This, too, was a two-story building which was used for the intermediate and 
grammar school. The first building was used for primary and high school on the second 
floor. The lower level was used as a town hall until sometime in the 1880 's when 
the town used the lower part of the old Masonic building for its city hall. 

In the Spring of 1857, the ACADEMY began advertising for outside students, and 
the following advertisement appeared in the "STERLING REPUBLICAN" in June of 1857: 

"The next term will begin on Monday. Students boarded in private families at :^2.00 
per week. Miss H. E. Davis, late from Vermont, is permanent teacher in music, French 
drawing and painting. Terms for common branches are $4.00 Greek and Latin, $7.00 
French, $5.00 piano, $3.00 for water colors. A daily lesson in penmanship. The 
school is furnished with globes, maps, skeleton, chemical apparatus. The teachers 
are M. R. Kelly, Miss Louise Drue, Miss H. E. Davis. Directors are R. G. Clendenin, 
W. Anderson, Moses Lathe." 

The two older buildings were removed from the site about the time the new building 
was dedicated in 1915. The larger of the two buildings was removed to Thomas Hill 
near the cemetery to be used as a grain barn, and the second building was removed 
to the northwest corner of Commercial and 2nd Avenue West, where it became part 
of the Lyndon Feed Mill until it was destroyed by fire in July, 1971. 

Stephen A. Douglas spoke in the old school, and accounts state that the building 
was filled to overflowing. Farmers parked their wagons close to the building so 
that they could hear him speak through the open windows. Unfortunately, no date 
for Douglas' appearance can be found. Some accounts state that while Lincoln was 
speaking in nearby communities, Douglas came to Lyndon. 




LEFT SCHOOLHOUSE BUILT IN 1851. RIGHT, PRIMARY & INTERMEDIATE GRADES, BUILT IN 1875, 



15 



In 1915, a new school building was built. A brick, two story structure, it was 
of the latest design and "strictly modern" according to newspaper accounts at the 
time of dedication. "The interior is divided into four classrooms, with the prin- 
cipal's office located on the upper landing of the hall over the front entrance. 
Heated by a one pipe gravity steam system, furnished by a large boiler in the base- 
ment 21 radiators are required to furnish the needed heat. 

"The ventilating system is the most modern. From the floor of each classroom a 
foul air shaft open at the roof, and in each is placed a small steam radiator whose 
heat causes a draft which conducts the foul air out of the floor, while fresh air 
is being taken in from registers outside, placed under steam radiators. Thus a 
complete change of air is constantly taking place." (Quoted from the Sterling Daily 
Gazette, October 29, 1915.) 

In the early 1930 's a gymnasium was added to the school, two additional classrooms 
were built, and the location of the principal's office was changed. In 1959, the 
new Junior High School was completed and is still being used as a Junior High School. 
This year, the building built in 1915 is no longer used for classrooms and stands 
idle at this time. Its future use as part of the Lyndon educational system is still 
in doubt . 

From the very beginning of the village, education has been an important part of 
the whole scheme of village life. Early classes were held in individual homes, 
but taught by well qualified teachers. Throughout its 150 year history, Lyndon 
has maintained high standards of education, and it is hoped--and expected--that 
those high standards will be maintained in the years to come. 

NEWSPAPERS 

There were probably three newspapers in Lyndon. Records show that the first, the 
LYNDON FREE PRESS, was published about 1873. Generally the front page of this news- 
paper contained the Lyndon News, and the rest was devoted to news printed from the 
Fulton Journal forms. Records do not indicate when that paper suspended publication. 
"There are records to indicate that the LYNDON COURIER suspended publication in July 
of 1876, but there are no records to indicate when it started. The third paper 
in Lyndon was the LYNDON ADVOCATE, which was first published on July 7, 1883. This 
latest (and last) paper in Lyndon lasted about two years, when in 1885, the publisher 
W. M. Patrick, closed his business in Lyndon and moved to Erie, where he purchased 
the ERIE INDEPENDENT. 



16 




Miss K.B. Morris Class in old High School 
(Date Unknown) 



1915 




/ -^ 



1930's 



1959 



17 



HOSPITALITY 

Lyndon apparently had a reputation for good food and hospitality from its earliest 
history. Mention is made in the histories of the fine tables set at the various 
hotels and eating places throughout the years. John Roy was one of the earliest 
of the inkeepers. He and his wife built a reputation for operating a fine hotel 
and restaurant, where "fowls and feasts were always ready." 

Mr. Roy had previously kept the first store in Lyndon, but went to the inn or tavern 
which had been built by a Mr. Wilson. No records can be found of Mr. Wilson, 
but the tavern was erected before 1840. Through th-e years, the building fell into 
disrepair, but has since been remodelled several times, and is still standing at 
507 2nd Street West. 

An advertisement in the "LYNDON ADVOCATE" of May 20, 1885, says that "ice cream 
is ripe and will be found in quantity on Saturdays at Robinsons." A listing of 
the advertisers in this same issue states that "George A, Robinson keeps a first 
class restaurant, and in connection a good variety of canned goods, lemonade and 
soda water in their season." 

In about 1854, Giles Green came west to seek his fortune. He purchased land east 
of Lyndon and built a small home. A few years later, Mr. Green acquired more 
land and in 1858 built the large house located on Route 2, and now occupied by 
the William Zaagman family. The large home consists of 23 rooms and two staircases 
and was a stage inn at the time. Many cattle drovers stopped there for short periods 
while going to market. The stone foundation is two feet thick, and there is a large 
kettle surrounded by bricks which was used to cook the large amounts of food needed 
to feed the travelers and farm hands. 

One of the buildings to the rear was used as a buggy barn. Upstairs, to the rear 
of the home, there are seven numbered rooms which were used by the travelers in 
the 1800 's. Today the rooms remain much the same as they were when the house was 

built. 







W. Zaagman Residence - 19196 Moline Rd, 





JOHN ROY TAVERN ... 507 2nd St. W. 



18 



There have been many restaurants in Lyndon through the years, some of which are 
pictured and listed on the following pages of pictures. The photos and listings 
are not intended to be all inclusive, but do represent some of the fine cafes and 
restaurants that have been a part of Lyndon. Omission of any photos or listing 
of particular restaurants is not intended to slight anyone--the omissions are simply 
because of lack of complete information about such establishments. 

PARKS 

Riverside Park, founded by Milton A. McKerg, in 1863, was for many years maintained 
by E. M. McKerg, and Mrs. Mae Crowell, on the riverbank across from the family home 
at 2nd Avenue West and 1st Street West. Carefully groomed, the little park had 
white metal benches, small statuary and plantings which made a delightful spot. 
It was maintained for many years by the McKerg-Crowell-Pickering families, but in 
later years vandalism caused the abandonment of the park. Today the area is kept 
carefully mowed, but little evidence of the spot of beauty remains. 

In an area just west of 1st Street West and 7th Avenue West, C. A. Harrington main- 
tained a "park" which consisted of a dance pavilion, refreshment stand and two small 
cabins on the river bank. On Friday nights for many years, dances were held in 
the "pavilion", which was a long, low wooden structure, with the upper part of the 
sides opening to provide ventilation. The building was frequently rented to private 
parties for wedding dances, anniversary celebrations, and other group functions. 
The dates of its contstruction and demolition are not known, and as far as we know, 
there are no pictures of that park in existence. 

RICHMOND PARK . . . 

A group of Lyndon residents was organized to attempt to raise by public subscription 
the sum of $800.00 for the purchase of 12 lots in Fitch's addition in Lyndon for 
the purpose of providing a public park. The group started soliciting funds on 
July 13, 1956, and on August 26, they had reached the goal. 

Vhose working on the project were Fern Housenga, Joe Pickering, Grace Bowen , Marie 
Barnickel, Lillian Ahrens, Joanne Melton, Wayne Sawyer and Duane Rick. The 
property was purchased on September 6, 1956. Many other people worked on the park 
project after the purchase was made--planting trees, installing playground and 
picnic equipment, etc. 

The group formed a non-profit organization known as the Richmond Park Club, with 
Mr. Don Sipe volunteering his services as attorney. The Officers and Board of Dir- 
ectors elected were: President: Fern Housenga; Vice President: Joe Pickering; 
Secretary-Treasurer: Joanne Melton. Directors for 1956 were: Marie Barnickel, 
Grace Bowen, Maxine Fisk, Lillian Ahrens, Reverend Arthur Landwehr , W.E. Miley, 
Wayne Sawyer, Duane Rick, Tom Boonstr^, and Charles Eadis . 

During the development of the park, there was considerable help from many people 
in Lyndon and Prophetstown , who supported the fund raising effort and fund raising 
events-fish frys, breakfasts, raffles, etc. Through hard work and the commitment 
of a community working together for a common goal, the park is now an accomplished 
fact, a part of the city of Lyndon permanently. The property was purchased from 
Mrs. Margaret Richmond Mason. The Park Club presented the Park to the Village of 
Lyndon to always be used as a public park. 

19 



MEDICINE 

From the very beginning of its history, Lyndon was blessed with doctors. One of 
the first mentioned is Dr. Augustin Smith, one of the "first" families of Lyndon. 
Mention of Dr. Smith is made in all of the early histories of the village. Dr. 
Smith practiced in Ottawa, Illinois, before coming to Lyndon in 1836, where he built 
the first frame house. He practiced medicine in Lyndon until 1851, .when he went 
into the mercantile business, which he followed for many years. He was appointed 
Postmaster in 1840. He remained active in Lyndon affairs until he moved to Morrison 
in 1860, where he engaged in the mercantile business until his death in 1871. 

Another of Lyndon's doctors was A. P. Holt, who came to Lyndon in 1847. Dr. Holt 
obtained a homeopathic library and after careful examination of that school of med- 
icine, he began that method of practice. (Homeopathy: a system of medicine based 
on the theory that certain diseases can be cured by giving very small doses of drugs 
which in a healthy person and in very large doses would produce symptoms like those 
of the disease; the treatment of a disease by giving a substance similar to the 
agent that caused the disease.) 

In addition to the practice of medicine. Dr. Holt was active in the life of Lyndon, 
and was one of the first Board of Trustees when the village was incorporated. He 
died on March 6, 1876. His biography states that "he prescribed for visiting patients 
until a week previous to his death." 

Other medical practitioners are mentioned in the histories, but nothing other than 
their names is given. We do know, however, that Dr. S. S. Harriman was the last 
resident physician in Lyndon. He is remembered by many former patients as a genial 
man, a skilled diagnostician and able physician. Dr. Harriman lived to be 89 years 
old, celebrating his 89th birthday in April of 1952. At that time, newspaper reports 
state that he maintained his office in his home, but was taking only emergency cases. 
He died in November of 1952. Records disagree as to his arrival in Lyndon. One 
history states that he came to Lyndon in 1890, but the newspaper account of his 
birthday celebration states that he came in 1902. Whichever date is correct, it 
it is certain that "Doc" Harriman treated many patients in Lyndon and the surrounding 
communities in the more than 50 years of practice here. 




¥'■>■ b 



HOLT HOMESTEAD 




A YOUNGER "DOC HARRIMAN" AT RIGHT 
(Others not identified accurately) 



20 




STREET SCENES . . . MAIN STREET, LYNDON ... EARLY 1900' s 





21 





STREET SCENE BELIEVED TO BE LOOKING SOUTH ON FIRST AVENUE (DATE UNKNWON; 




EARLY POST OFFICE. DATE AND LOCATION UNKNWON 
22 




C. E. WILKINS' GROCERY . . . DATE AND EXACT LOCATION UNKNOWN. 



t. 









SAM TEACH BLACKSMITH SHOP WALT FOX IN BLACKSMITH SHOP 

(DATES AND EXACT LOCATIONS NOT KNOWN) 



23 








TRAIN HEADED WEST FROM LYNDON NEAR COMMERCIAL AND WEST FOURTH STREET. FROM A GLASS 
PLATE, DATE PROBABLY AROUND 1908. 




INTERIOR OF CHARLES & MAUDE WILKINS GROCERY STORE ON MAIN STREET, DATE UNKNOWN. 

24 





CAN YOU IDENTIFY THIS MAN? PRINT FROM A GLASS SLIDE, PROBABLY MADE AROUND 1900. 










GIBSON BROS. FIRST OIL TRUCK 



25 



CLASS IN FRONT OF THE SCHOOL BUILT IN 
1871 . Date unknown. 




LYNDON TOWN HALL PRIOR TO 1962. BEFORE SCHOOL GYMNASIUM WAS BUILT, BASKET BALL GAMES, 
SCHOOL PLAYS, OTHER COMMUNITY EVENTS WERE HELD IN THIS BUILDING. MANY WILL REMEMBER 
THE PAINTED CURTAIN WHICH WAS USED ACROSS THE STAGE IN THE WEST END OF THE BUILDING. 
MERCHANTS OF THE TOWN HAD ADVERTISING PAINTED ON THE CURTAIN, WHICH WAS PULLED BETWEEN 
ACTS OF PLAYS. PHOTO TO RIGHT SHOWS ENTRANCE TO EASTERN STAR AND MASONIC HALL ABOVE. 






LYNDON FIRE STATION WHICH WAS COMPLETED IN 1962, on the site of the town hall 

26 




MARTHA JACOBS OPERATED THE "COFFEE SHOP" 
IN THE EARLY 1930'S. AFTER SHE RETIRED, 
IT HAD SEVERAL OWNERS UNTIL IT BURNED IN 
1976. KNOWN AS THE "LANDMARK" THEN, it 
WAS OWNED BY BILL CAFCULAS.. 



iILL BALLARD'S PUMP SERVICE 
in 1965. 




^^ -r;;!^*-!?^*^ _,^>^ 




RAY CRADY GARAGE & ALDA'S RESTAURANT 
ON LOCATION OF "LEONA'S COUNTRY STORE' 



LYNDON BRIDGE TODAY 



27 



-/'■''/./■'y-'/Z'i'/, 







TWO MAJOR FIRES BURNED * 

THE BUSINESS DISTRICT. 

DATES ARE UKNOWN, BUT 

THE SECOND ONE 

IS BELIEVED TO BE ABOUT 

1919. 






^' 28 



CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION -1935 

Labor Day weekend, September 1 and 2, 1935, the village of Lyndon celebrated its 
100th birthday with a parade, carnivals, pageant and special church services. Those 
who were a part of the celebration remember, with varying degrees of accuracy and 
clarity, the festivities. More than 400 people took part in the pageant which was 
presented on two nights. The pageant depicted the history of Lyndon in eight epi- 
sodes and closed with "the persons from all periods of our history passing in re- 
view and forming the final tableau." 

Among other attractions listed in the program schedule were: sky writing, baseball 
game, antiques display, "dinner at the Congregational Church, for 35 cents per plate. 
There will be ample room for all who bring their lunches." 



AMONG BUSINESSES ADVERTISING IN THE CENTENNIAL EDITION OF THE " STERLING GAZETTE' 
WERE: 



Lee Williams, Poultry and Eggs 

Roy Eads, buyer and seller of live poultry 
E. E. Gardner, Hardware 

Frank Olson, Poultry Business 

Glenn Renner , General Blacksmithing 
Rock River Lumber and Coal Company 
C. A. Harrington, Live Stock and Real Estate 
Ronald Kniskern, Sand and Gravel 

Harrington Bros., Groceries, Meats, Clothing, Shoes 
Whiteside Service Company 

G. D. Maxfield, Sand and Gravel 
Mrs. J. W. Hodges, Cement Drain Tile, Building Blocks, Burial Vaults 
Jack Little, Groceries 

McDearmon and Attig, Lyndon Feed Mill 

C. O. Chamberlain, agent for Hauter & Russell, Stocker & Feeder Cattle 
Lyndon Coffee Shop 

Gibson Bros. Purol Produc ts--GRAND OPENING NEW STATION 
O. J. Chamberlain, Insurance 

Settles Garage--Chevrolet Cars and Texaco Gas and Oil 



SOME OF THE MANY 
FOLLOWING PAGE . . 



FLOATS APPEARING IN THE PARADE 



ARE SHOWN ON THE 




29 




30 



ACROSS THE RIVER 

The old Lyndon bridge was almost not built because of controversy over who was going 
to pay for it. Records are slim and inaccurate, but we do know that a special 
election was held on January 4, 1892, to appropriate $10,000 to build and maintain 
the bridge across the Rock River. Then on August 20, 1892, Prophetsto.wn rejected 
a referendum to join Lyndon and help pay for the bridge. Finally on March 23, 1904, 
more money was voted on to construct the bridge and sometime about the turn of the 
century, the bridge was built. A news item in the Rock River Valley, dated 
December 14, 1894, states: "at the completion of the new wagon bridge across Rock 
River at Lyndon Tuesday, the ladies of that place (Lyndon) gave a free supper in 
the Town Hall of that burg in honor of the event." It is not known whether this 
refers to the present bridge, or another. At any rate, as throughout other parts 
of this story, dates are at variance because of lack of records. 




Further south of the river, beyond where the Old Settlers grounds were was a stand 
of sugar maples which provided yet another interesting facet to the story of Lyndon. 
For many years, Frank Millikan operated a "sugar bush" in that area, tapping the 
trees in early spring to collect gallons of sap, which was then boiled down in huge 
open tanks. This became maple syrup, and many will remember going over to the "sugar 
bush" in early spring not only to watch the operation, but to sample some of the 
fresh hot maple syrup--a very rich, sticky sweet delicacy. Those who were fortunate 
enough to be in any of the classes with any of the Millikan boys will also remember 
being invited to the Millikan Farm north of Lyndon for one or more "sugaring off" 
parties during the maple syrup season. At these parties, the syrup was further 
cooked and then at the proper time those attending were given an ample supply of 
the syrup to further beat and stir until a small amount of maple sugar candy was 
obtained. Those fortunate enough to have had that experience well remember the 
taste of that candy--which in retrospect and enhanced memory is sweeter and better 
than any maple sugar candy tasted since. 



31 



For many years a log cabin-like structure stood to the east of the bridge across 
the river from Lyndon. It was familiar to scouts of years ago, and many today re- 
member Camp Amos Horton as one of the richest experiences of their scouting days. 
Scouts from all over the surrounding area came to Camp Horton for jamborees, camp 
outs, courts of honor, and other events dear to the heart of Boy Scouts of all ages 
and eras. Time has changed the site that surrounded the cabin--now only plowed 
fields and corn crops cover the area . . . the road leading to the cabin has been 
lost to the plow. There are those who will remember in early spring, looking over 
a large field extending from near the cabin almost to the road leading to the bridge, 
which was one solid mass of blue--as the wild bluebells bloomed in profusion over 
the whole area. 



CLAMMING ON THE ROCK . . . 

Not only was the Rock River a source of some commercial traffic through the years 
but was also the source of a different kind of product. For many years, clamming 
was an important part of Lyndon's history. Clam barges were equipped with rows 
of clam hooks which were dropped to the bottom to snag the clams. When brought 
to the surface, the clams werre cooked and and the meat out for fish bait. Shells 
were sold by the ton to button factories, such as the one in Sabula, Iowa. Some 
have indicated that there was a button factory located in Lyndon, but there is no 
written evidence to support this claim. 

On occasion, pearls were found in the clams. There are several people in Lyndon 
who still have jewelrY--ear rings, rings, pins--made from pearls given them by some 
of the clammers of another era. A small itaem on the front page of the "ECHO" 
dated August, 1919, tells of the finding of a pearl valued locally at $400, but 
the finders were "to journey to Chicago in the hopes of selling it for $500." 

BITS AND PIECES 

OUT THROUGH THE COUNTRY . . . 

For many years after Harrington Brothers opened their store in 1927, Loyd Harrington 
ran a grocery truck through the country. Dwight and Loyd would load up the truck 
with a limited supply of items from the store, and then the truck would start out 
through the country, selling groceries, and picking up eggs from the surrounding 
farmers. There are many living today who recall the visit of the grocery truck 
to their farm homes. The first truck was a large box-like affair on the flat bed 
of a truck. When it stopped, doors on all sides opened up to display the items 
for sale. The second truck was somewhat taller, and had a back door which opened 
to a center aisle. On either side of this aisle were shelves that were stocked 
with groceries from the store. Thirty dozen crates of eggs were picked up at the 
farms and lashed to the side racks of the truck, to be brought into the store to 
be either wholesaled out or retailed in the store. 

Each spring, C. A. Harrington would drive to Southern Illinois to pick up bushels 
of peaches from the groves. He would return with his stock truck loaded with peaches 
and these would be stacked inside the store and in front of the building for but 
a few days, when they would all be sold. Bushels of peaches were lashed to the 
outside of the grocery truck to be carried to those farmers along the regular route. 
At that time, it was safe to leave the peaches in front of the store at night--no 
one ever stole anything then. 

32 



LAST DAY OF SCHOOL . . . COMMUNITY DAY . . . 

An event which every one in school looked toward was "the last day of school." 
Not only did it mean that sununer vacation was approaching, but it also signaled 
one of the biggest community wide events of the year. All of the posters, writings, 
and other evidence of the year's work done by students were hung on the walls of 
each classroom where proud parents could come and see how their child compared with 
others. A program in the morning started the festivities. As soon as the morning, 
program was over, the community day picnic began. "Free hot dogs and ice cream" 
were the main attraction, but families from the community and surrounding areas 
assembled in groups all over the high school campus with picnic lunches. The lines 
that formed waiting to have kettles and dishes filled with hot dogs seemed so long 
to those who waited, but when they finally returned to the family group, the wait 
seemed worth it. But then ... the wait for the ice cream to be dipped out seemed 
even longer. There was no shortage of ice cream, either, and once again dishes 
and pans were carried to the tables where generous scoops of ice cream filled the 
containers which were soon taken h^ck to be consumed in the family groups. This 
one facet of Lyndon's history that is lost for good, and the community is the loser 
for it--not so much for the "picnic" atmosphere, but for the community spirit which 
was so important and evident at that time. 

"ANDY GUMPS" ... 



When the post office was in the building now occupied by Marvin Bolt's barber shop, 
it was under Ida Briggs as postmistress. In one part of the building, the post 
office occupied the east side of the main floor. On the west side, there was an 
ice cream parlor operated by Frank and Ida Briggs. One of the specialties of this 
ice cream parlor was a creation called "ANDY GUMPS". These are most nearly described 
as an early "ESKIMO PIE" of a different size and shape. A large scoop of ice cream 
was set on a cardboard ring, which had a stick through the bottom to hold the ice 
cream while it was being eaten. The ice cream was dipped in chocolate syrup, which 
was then put back into the freezer to harden. Those who recall this delightful 
ice cream dish recall, too, (though perhaps enhanced through memory of what it used 
to be), not only the high quality and richness of the ice cream, but the deep, true 
dark taste of chocolate. 

THE S WEET TASTE OF THE BERRY . . . 

For many years, one of Lyndon's prime crops was the strawberry. The climate and 
the soil seem fitted for the raising of this fruit, and there were literally acres 
of berries planted in and around Lyndon. Among the earliest and largest growers 
were the Osborn Brothers--Lester and Oliver — who at one time had at least 7 acres 
of berries planted. An average yield at the time of their extensive plantings was 
7,000 quarts to the acre. Berries were shipped to De Kalb, Rock Island, Watertown, 
and other surrounding areas. Another early grower was J. G. Laxton, who started 
with one acre, and finally ended up with seven acres. Others who raised berries 
in the years following were William Shepherd, Ellery and Florence Shepherd, Walter 
Forward, Sam Teach, Porter Holt, a Mr. Hubbard, and others. Why the berry growing 
ceased in Lyndon is unknown for sure, but there are those who said that the soil 
finally wore out (which seems unlikely), others who said that it finally got to 
be too much work, and still others claimed that market for the product diminished. 
Whatever the reason, the strawberry has virtually disappeared from Lyndon--certainly 
as a commercial crop. 

Some growers kept bees in conjunction with their berries, and one of these was J. 
G. Laxton, who at one time had one hundred stands of bees, and in 1907, was reported 
to have sold 12,000 pounds of honey. At about the same time Clyde Bowen had a stand 
of 50, selling honey primarily to the local market. 

33 



OSBORNE BROTHERS BERRY WAGON ( BELOW] 




THE SNAKE WELL . . . 

No "story" about Lyndon would be complete without referring to the "SNAKE WELL." 
The well was close to the old stage road, and wayfarers often stopped at the well 
to quench their thirst. After a while the old well was abandoned, but it was left 
through the years until along in the late 1880 's. It remained for Adam R. Hamilton, 
Jr. when he returned from California, to discover something unusual about this well. 



One warm day in May, 1885, he sat on the ledge above the old well, when his attention 
was attracted to the curb of the old well which seemed to be moving. Approaching, 
he saw snakes, dozens, a hundred or more maybe, all appearing to be moving out of 
and away from the well. Calling his brother, George, they ventured near enough 
to look into the well, and to its very depth it was swarming with snakes. Camera 
men came from miles around for pictures, and people came from miles away to see 
the old snake well. It was accounted for by the fact that hundreds of acres of 
swamp land lying under the bluff was the home for the snakes before the land was 
drained and placed under cultivation. It was believed that a subterranean passage 
led from the swamp area to the well. Others believe that as the land was drained, 
the snakes crawled into the well from the top. At any rate, one account states 
that over a period of about three years, 491 snakes, mostly horned adder, some blue 
racers, a few water snakes, and one small rattle snake, were pulled from the well 
but soon afterward the old well curb was removed and the well was filled up to the 
surface . 




THE OLD SCHOOL BELL ... 

Standing in the yard of the Congregational Church is an old bell, which, could it 
speak, could tell more of the history of Lyndon than anything written now. The 
bell is believed to be the bell which was hung in the belfry of the second school 
building in Lyndon, back in 1851. Though there is some doubt about that fact, there 
are those who believe that it is the original bell. 

An old newspaper article from an earlier era describes the bell as follows: "The 
historic old bell, cast in the east, had been bought with sacrifice and pangs of 
conscience on the part of many who faced an opposing side of taxpayers, but at 
last the bell was bought and hung with much rejoicing. 

"When the new building was built (in 1915) the bell was consigned to oblivion in 
the basement. Then there was an uproar and reminiscences flew thick and fast. 
'That bell pealed out for my wedding, etc. It had rung on joyous occasions and had 
sadly tolled when news reached here that Lincoln had died ..." 

There is, however, evidence that the bell may not be the original bell, for around 
the shoulder of the bell an inscription reads: "Buckeye Bell Foundry, Van Duzen 
and Tift, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1891." 

There is still the feeling that the 1,000 pound solid brass bell is the one which 
hung in the original school. In 1976, it was given to the Historical Society, which 
had it moved from storage, and mounted on the cement slab in the church yard. What- 
ever the actual date of the bell is, it is believed to be one of the oldest in the 
county, and is of considerable significance to Lyndon. 




THE LYNDON ELM 

For many years a large elm tree stood in the front yard of the home now occupied 
by Edwin R. Johnson, at 605 West 2nd. At the time that George Murphy lived there, 
there was a plaque on the tree reading: "THE ELM OF LYNDON, Born in 1810, Judge 
G. W. Murphy, Charge $5.00". The plaque is still in the possession of Ed Johnson. 
When the tree had to be cut down a few years ago because of Dutch Elm Disease, it 
had a branch spread of 143 feet. Many other noble elms were lost in the past few 
years, but this was of particular interest because of its history and of its size. 

35 



THE FERRIES . . . 

Long before the bridge was built, the only means of getting across the river was 
by the ferry. There were two ferries in Lyndon--the upper and the lower. The ferry- 
men were required to have permits, which were for two or three years at a time. 
In some cases he built and owned the ferry. The usual fee for taking foot passengers 
across the river was five cents, with teams and lumber wagons costing twenty five 
cents for a round trip. 

At first the ferries were merely rafts, but later they were shaped flat boats, poled 
back and forth across the rivers. The ferry or scow was a great improvement over 
the xaft. The "wire" ferries were indeed one of the "modern" inventions of the 
1840 's in the county. A long slender pole, topped with a hook was slipped over 
a cable stretched high up on a pole from one side of the river to the other, which 
enabled passengers to move across the river with more ease and speed. 

The oldest ferry house is believed to be at 202 East 1st Street. Another ferry house 
was located at the southeast corner of 6th Avenue West and 1st Street West. It is 
no longer standing. 




DEAD MAN'S LANE . . . 

"As Kentucky once bore the uncanny synonym of the 'dark and bloody ground' so the 
road leading from Lyndon toward Erie has sometimes been styled 'Dead Man's Lane,' 
because of ghastly occurrences of suicides, untimely deaths, and other dreadful 
events associated with several of the dwellings. Denrock has been the scene of 
some distressing accidents." (W. H. Davis, "HISTORY OF WHITESIDE COUNTY", Volume 
2, page 120. ) 



36 



There have been two cemeteries in Lyndon. The first. Freeman Cemetery, was located 
on a wooded knoll off the highway west of Lyndon. In 1897-1898, permission was 
sought of the relatives of those buried there to remove the bodies to the Lyndon 
and Sterling Cemeteries. The relatives of one could not be located, and the remains 
were left in Freeman Cemetery. 

The present cemetery is located west of Lyndon. The first person to be buried in 
this cemetery was Lydia A. Coburn, who died in July of 1837, Many old stones in 
the center section of the cemetery at the top of the south slope are badly eroded, 
but many of the dates can be read. The names on the stones recall the names of 
those who first settled Lyndon. Efforts have been made to try to restore some of 
these old stones--broken and toppled through the years. It is a difficult task, 
and there has been insufficient help and interest to do the job completely. 




*-« 




MYSTERY STILL UNSOLVED . . . 

In the autumn of 1901, workmen were hauling gravel from the gravel bed on the farr; 
of A. V. Manning, when they unearthed a grave which contained human bones. A doctor 
determined the bones were those of a woman. Inquiries were made about the town 
which led to a Mrs. Sarah White, an aged resident of the town who recalled the story 
which follows: 

"One cold night in November, the stage coach rolled up to the door of the tavern, 
and from it alighted a lone traveller. I v/as staying at the tavern that winter. 
I noticed how slowly she came up the frosty path. When she entered the hall I noted 
the deathly pallor of her face, which was very beautiful. And she was very richly 
dressed, tall and graceful, but in her haughty manner there was no joy nor anima- 
tion in return for the kindly greeting of Mrs. Roy (the tavern-keeper). Without 
speaking a word, the stranger walked to the fireside and removed her costly sable 
furs, scarcely noticing when the driver set her luggage by the door. The lady made 
no pretense of eating any supper but sipped the tea. 

"Immediately afterward the stranger appeared to be quite ill and Mrs. Roy sent for 
Dr. Smith who said that the lady was ill indeed. Before morning she became much 
worse and died bfefore another day without having revealed her name. The doctor 
pronounced the case small pox, but none else ever had the disease, which at that 
time was considered miraculous. 

"When the question of burial arose, Dr. Smith said that the stranger should be 
buried in his own burial ground. At the burial no one mourned. But there was pity 
that one so young and beautiful should have died unknown among strangers . Through 
the neglect of the sexton, there was no record of this burial in the Smith plot, 
other than the names of the members of the family. 

Mr. Roy and Dr. Smith searched diligently, inquiring of all who came and went, but 
to this day nothing more was ever heard concerning the mysterious stranger whose 
fate had been so sad after coming to the tavern on the lonely prairie.' 




GIBSON BROS. ORIGINAL STATION 



NEW STATION OPENED IN 1935 




HARRINGTON BROS. 1927-1968 



MAIN STREET IN THE 1930's 






VAUGHN'S CAFE AFTER 1935 



PAUL & RENA MANNON - SIP & BITE 
1968 - 1972 




WAYNE & ZOLA EVANS OPERATED SIP AND BITE 
FROM 1946 to 1968 



40 



PERRY AND BETTY UPTON IN BUSINESS 
in Lyndon from 1941 -1968 



OLDEST FRAME HOUSE IN LYNDON 
106 - 6th Avenue West 





Believed to be a "stop" in the 
UNDERGROUND RAILWAY. A tunnel 
reportedly ran from John Roy's 
Tavern (page 18) to this house 
and then to the river. 

House was Methodist parsonage 
for brief period. 




STAGE COACH STEPPING STONE ... 

Believed to be the stone which 
passengers stepped on when 
leaving stage coach for John 
Roy's Tavern. 

In the yard at 108 6th St. W 







41 



FIRST CROW FESTIVAL . . . 

In 1972, Lyndon held its first Crow Festival. The Village Trustees had proclaimed 
Lyndon as the "CROW CAPITAL OF THE WORLD", when the local government started a move- 
ment for the removal or improvement of unsightly properties. Citizens began to think 
about Lyndon as "having something to crow about" and wanted to call attention to 
the Village. Lyndon is not a bird sanctuary, and there are not an unusual number 
of crows around, but basically Lyndonites felt they had something to CROW about in 
this village. The only historical framework for this title was that Lyndon was once 
in the "Crow Creek Precinct", but that is a rather long stretch of the imagination. 

Lyndon was declared a "Crow Sanctuary", meaning that no crows or other birds may 
be harmed within the village limits. The designation as a "Crow Sanctuary" does 
not seem to have increased the crow population measurably! 

The two-day event drew large crowds--estimated at between 8,000 and 10,000 for the 
big parade on Sunday. Contests, Firemen's Breakfast, Community Church Service on 
the lawn of the Methodist Church, charity ball game, and many other events all worked 
together--in spite of inclement weather--to make Lyndon's debut as the "Crow Capital 
of the World" a success. Letters were received from all 50 states, and from abroad 
as the story of the festival was picked up by larger newspapers and national wire 
services. Thus Lyndon began a series of annual Crow Festivals, with the 1985 festival 
celebrating Lyndon's 150th anniversary. 

It is hoped that Lyndonites will continue to be proud of their town, and to proclaim 
that we still have "SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT" as we look forward to the next 50 years 
of our history, to celebrate the bicentennial. It will be left to those who are 
younger to carry on the tradition begun in 1972! 




PART OF THE CROWD WATCHING THE PARADE 



42 



BUSINESS IN THE 1880 's ... 

C. L. Parkhurst, General Store, hardware, agricultural implements, tinshop 
Parmenter Brothers, general 4®alers in merchandise, gram, coal 
M. A. McKerg, Manufacturer and dealer in harness and saddlery 
Mrs. M. J. Steward, millinery, fancy goods, dressmaking 
A. S. Hazard and James Roach, blacksmithing 

W. H. Robinson, restaurant and confectionary store 
Ira Sherwood, boots and shoes, and repairing 
Griswold and Hamilton, Meat Market 
G. R. Cady, livery and feed stable 
John Whallon, attorney 

O. H. Bartlett and F. W. Cannon, Physicians and Surgeons 
S. Zimmers, Lyndon House Hotel 
C. W. Parmenter, Postmaster 



**BENT-WILSON "History of Whiteside County" (1877) states: "The business houses 
and shops at present are: three grocery stores, one dry goods store one drug 
store, one millinery store, one cabinet and furniture store, one hardware store, 
one livery stable, one barber shop, one restaurant, one meat market, one wagon shop, 
one lumber yard, three blacksmith shops, and two hotels." The listings come from 
two different sources, and are at variance, but the exact date of the first listing, 
by name, is not known. Probably both listings are accurate in their way and for 
their time. 



Businesses listed in 1929 are: 

Community Livestock Shipping Association, C. E. Kniskern, manager 
First State Bank, Orton J. Chamberlin, President 
J. W. Hodges, Tile Factory 

Oliver Osborne, Strawberry Market 

Harrington Brothers, C. E. Wilkins, Will Shepherd, General Stores 
Mc Dearmon and Attig, Feed Mill 

W. C. Parkhurst, Groceries and Barber Shop 
R. B. Lyon, Community Coal and Sales Company 

Gibson Brothers, Wholesale and Retail Gas and Oil 
Walter Settles, Garage and Filling Station 
Earl Hiddleson, Garage 

Bert Vaughn and Frank Briggs, Cafes 
Charles Sharp, Greenhouse 

Mathis Brothers, Grain, Coal and Building Materials 
Clyde Bowen , Apiary 

M. R. Waller, Harness and Shoemaker 

M. P. Brewer, Oil Station and Lunch Counter, Hamilton Corners 
G. M. Cady, Poultry Commission House 
Henry Ahrens , Dairy 

C. A. Harrington, Stock Buyer and Real Estate 
G. M. Cady, Auctioneer 
Arnold Roeker , Blacksmith 

Elmer Gardner, Hardware and Tinsmith 

Arthur Scott is the agent at the Burlington Depot, and Dr. S. S. Harriman is the 
village physician. G. D. Maxfield is state patrolman, Mrs. Ida Briggs is the post- 
mistress, C. E. Kniskern and George Murphy are justices of the peace. 

43 



BUSINESS IN 1985 

The following are businesses in Lyndon in 198b. The date following the listing 
is the date that the business was begun (or purchased) by the present owner-operator. 

Larry Scanlan Construction - 1973 

Larry's Valley Vista Trailer Court - 1978 
Allan Chamberlain Trucking - 1981 
Heinold Hog Buyers - 1977 

Golden Image Beauty Shop - 1983 

Deanna Williams Beauty Shop - 1964 
Merv Armstrong Trucking - 1965 

Dianna Bellows Beauty Shop - 1975 
Doug's Automotive - 1979 
Zaagman Body Shop 

Miles Salvage & Iron Works - 1973 
Egert's Tavern - 1942 
Lyndon Tap - 1985 

Bud's Conoco - 1945 

Whiteside Farm Service, Inc. - 1931 
Brandt and Wade, Inc. - 1977 
(Harry Fisk, 1934, Rushmeyer-Glazier , 1960) 
Tartan Photos - 1977 

Leona's Country Store - i983 

Bill's Grocery and Liquor - 1977 
Skip's Photos - 1983 

Community Garage, Tom Boonstra - 1958 

(Howard Bowen built, 1935, Bernhardy & Melton, Jess Collins) 
Mauer Welding Supply - 1980 
Gibson Oil Company - 1924 
Marv's Barber Shop - 1958 
(from Leroy Buckner) 

Kelley's Greenhouse - 1984 
TLC Puppy Nursery - 1970 

Alda's West End Cafe - 1964 

(First location, site of Leona's Country Store, 1964; Second site on Route 
2, West of Lyndon, named Alda's West End, 1952; present location 1983) 
Jim Brandt Small Motor Repair - 1983 
Gary Port, Quality Machining 

Crow Valley Camp Ground - 1975 
Flower Inn - 1985 

Craig Bohms Trucking - 1981 

Irl Ferguson Lawn and Garden Service - 1971 
Sharp Shop, Andy Vanberg - 1985 

Dennis Sendlak, Versatile Trays and Desk Tops - 1985 
Lyndon Lumber and Grain Company - 1931 
Dan Sutton Construction - 1984 
Armstrong Agri Service - 1975 
Francis Egg Farm - 1938 



44 





J4g,».-r«!?5'^-.^v3^t^.^.* 



RICHMOND PARK 




METHODIST CHURCH (Date Unknown) 



CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH (Date Unknown) 
(Taken from an anniversary plate) 



45 




AN OLD POST OFFICE - - DATE AND LOCATION UNKNWON 



■i»o«!Sf¥~ !^-^ 4^ 




-.t 



POST OFFICE AND GENERAL STORE AT CORNER 
OF COMMERCIAL & 2nd AVENUE WEST 




46 



OLD TOWN HALL WITH METHODIST CHURCH IN 
BACKGROUND. DESTROYED BY FIRE APRIL. 
1915. (Site of present fire station) 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

The following listed have contributed to various fund raising 
activities throughout this year: 



LYNDON 

Zaagman's Body Shop 
Egert's Tavern 

Leona's Country Store 
Bud's Conoco 

Whiteside Farm Service, Inc. 
Bill's Grocery and Liquor 
Deanna ' s Beauty Shop 

Crow Valley Camp Grounds 

Crow's Nes+- Tavern 
Lillian Pence 

PROPHETSTOWN 

Perna ' s Pizza 

STERLING 

Vock Distributing Company 

PARADE _S P^N S R S 

Whiteside Farm Service, Inc. 
Bud's Conoco 

Armstrong Agri-Service 
Merv Armstrong Trucking 
Heinold Hog Buyers 
Lyndon Tap 

Leona's Country Store 
Irene Pritchard 
Egert ' s Tavern 

Lyndon Lumber and Grain 
Farmers National Bank 

Golden Image Beauty Shop 



47 



Cornerstone Jewelry, Prophetstown : Tiara for Queen 
Hillcrest Greenhouse, Prophetstown: Roses for Queen 
Paul and Rena Mannon : Key for Honorary Mayor 

Dean Sawyer, Flower Inn, Lyndon: Silk Flowers for Honorees 

To AL AND LYNN MUIR, TARTAN PHOTO STUDIOS, LYNDON: for careful 
and expert copying of old photographs and newspaper photos for 
use in this booklet. Special thanks for the many hours of pains- 
taking, skillful work in copying, and extra care taken with 
these valuable items . 

FOR THE USE of photographs, newspapers, scrap books and other 
items which have helped in writing of this booklet: Marie Bowen , 
Jim and Mary Bowen, Doris Cady, Eva Parkhurst Vincent, Barbara 
Lee, Eleanor Boonstra, Jake and Fern Housenga, Bud Gibson, Doris 
Hummel, Leslie and Francis Williams, Sr., The Lyndon Historical 
Society, Gladys Allen, Okie and Marilyn Woodard, W. E. Miley, 
and to numerous others who in conversation over the past months 
have given us bits and pieces of information which have helped 
to make this booklet interesting. 



To Prophetstown Lumber and Grain for the use of standards and 
planks for tables . 

To Prophetstown-Lyndon High School for use of the risers for 
musicians . 

To Pete Crady for use of his lighted sign. 

To Brandt and Wade for use of the flat bed truck. 

The cooperation of many has contributed to the success of our 
Sesquicentennial celebration, including the preparation of this 
booklet. Thank you! 



48 



SPONSORS 

Lyle and Ellen Gehlsen, Morrison 
Renkes Paint Store, Morrison 

Farmers National Bank, Prophetstown 

Jeanne's Twin Lake Resort, Menahga , Minnesota 
(Bobby and Margaret Greeno, Proprietors) 
Anna Harrington, Lyndon 

D. Gene Harrington, Lyndon 

Lyndon Historical Society, Lyndon 
Elvira Stewart, Prophetstown 

Dean Gardner Family, Prophetstown 
Robert W. Harrington, Bloomington 

Robert and Betty (Harrington) Soltow, Dubuque, Iowa 
Pauline (Harrington) Wallick, Lafayette, Indiana 
Everett and Gladys Glazier, Lyndon 
Rhonda Scott, Lyndon 

Paul and Rena Mannon , Lyndon 
Jake and Fern Housenga, Lyndon 

Okie and Marilyn Woodard, Morrison 
Art and Marge Rushmeyer, Lyndon 
Jim and Mary Bowen , Lyndon 
Doris Cady, Lyndon 

Lyndon United Methodist Church, Lyndon 
Kenneth and Dolores Mc Donald, Lyndon 
Donald and Doris Pilgrim, Lyndon 
In Memory of William and Cilia Buchwald 
by Kathleen Peterson, Prophetstown 
In Memory of Perry and Betty Upton 
by Norma Scott, Prophetstown 
Beth Petersen, Lyndon 

Mr. D's (Roger Doering Owner), Morrison 
Hunter Auto Parts, Morrison 

Peterson Drug Store, Morrison 
Mauer Welding Supply, Lyndon 

L. W. Scanlan Construction, Lyndon 
Valley Vista Estates, Lyndon 

Budd and Darlene Swanson , Lyndon 
Dodge's Meat Market, Prophetstown 
Harold and Agnes Glazier, Lyndon 
Vic and Jo Dykema , Lyndon 

Deanna ' s Beauty Shop, Lyndon 



49 



Clarence and Edna Hunt, Prophetstown 
Kelley's Greenhouse, Lyndon 
The Bolt Family, Lyndon 

Floyd and Nora Glazier, Lyndon 

TLC Puppy Nursery (Lauren & Carlene Sikkema) Lyndon 
Brandt and Wade Equipment Inc., Lyndon 
Community Garage (Tom Boonstra), Lyndon 
Golden Image Beauty Shop, Lyndon 
Doug's Automotive Service, Lyndon 

Mark Hummel Auto Repair Service, Prophetstown 
Marc Fowler Family 

Susan Wilkins, Sterling 



THE AERIAL VIEW ON THE BACK COVER WAS TAKEN 
PRIOR TO 1935. 



Printed By: <Cf?« 



Print 
SI?op 



106 W. 2nd St. 

Rock Falls, IL 61071 (815) 625-1707 



50